Two Ugandan peacekeepers in Mogadishu have been killed in a fierce battle with Somali insurgents. The fighting broke out on Saturday after the peacekeepers attacked an extensive underground fortified trench and tunnels used by the insurgents to infiltrate Amisom controlled areas.
The insurgents were using the one-mile trench to ferry foreign fighters and ammunition.
A statement by Amisom issued on Monday said six al Qaeda-connected commanders were killed in the 36-hour battle.
“The discovery and closure of this tunnel is a major step forward in the stabilisation effort in the city,” the statement said. “The extremists were using the trench and tunnel to infiltrate fighters closer to Amisom positions without detection.” The tunnel also acted as a protected logistic resupply and casualty evacuation route.
“These are part of the new tactics being employed as a result of foreign influence, which has now effectively taken over control of the extremists,” the AU said. In retaliation, the insurgents blew up a police post in a car-bomb explosion and killed 20 police officers and left many injured.
When asked when bodies of the peacekeepers would be flown home, the army spokesperson, Lt. Col Felix Kulayigye, said it was Amisom spokesperson Barigye Ba-Hoku with the details of the travel arrangements. Efforts to get a comments from Maj. Ba-Hoku were not possible by press time.